Rusted streetlight pole colapses on woman’s head

Yangyel Lhaden

A 58-year-old woman is recovering in the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) after an electric pole that supported streetlight in Changjiji housing colony (CHC) hit her on April 18.

According to her husband, she suffered head and leg injuries.

He said she had to undergo leg surgery four days ago.

It was learnt that it took  four men to  carry the pole after the accident.

The woman, who stays in Changzamtok, was on her way home after buying yarn when the incident happened.

Changjiji residents said strong wind blew off the pole and hit the woman between 2pm and 3pm.

They said the pole could not withstand the strong wind, as its base was rusted.

CCTV footage of the accident went viral on Facebook, where some people commented that it was not the first time a pole collapsed. “Relevant agencies should be held accountable and all the poles in the country should be maintained and made safe,” a Facebook user commented.

Changjiji residents also agreed many streetlight poles in the area were rusted, as it was installed directly on the ground.

It was found that while some poles had concrete foundation to support, many did not.

A resident said they did not understand why the National Housing Development Corporation Ltd (NHDCL) did not use concrete foundation for all poles.

A resident, Dorji, said the poles were never maintained and it posed risks to them. “Only when such mishaps happen, NHDCL officials come for inspection.”

He said that after the recent incident, a pole few blocks away from the incident area could not withstand the force used to check it’s stability. “It was removed. We hope all the poles would have concrete foundation.”

Meanwhile, the victim’s son-in-law said NHDCL should be held accountable for their negligence.

He said the family had not heard a word of condolences from NHDCL officials. “It is a moral responsibility to convey condolences for grievances caused.”

Attempts were made to contact NHDCL management for information. 

Babesa police are investigating the case.

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